Proposed bill would give multinationals full control over Canada’s plants and seeds, says ranch owner

By on March 26, 2014

Dear Editor:

This is an open letter to local MLA Linda Larson.

On Dec 9, 2013 The Agricultural Growth Act was introduced in Parliament.

This agricultural omnibus bill amends several federal agricultural laws, including the Plant Breeders Rights Act, The Seeds Act, The Health and Animal Act, the Feeds Act and the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act.

Bill C-18 would give multinational companies far greater powers and control over Canada’s plants and seed industries.

We must remember that those who control seed and plants, also control food.

As a sovereign nation we must insure that control of seed and food is protected in the public interest.

The amendments to Canada’s Plant Breeders Rights Act outlined in Bill C-18 will give the multinationals total control over seed and plant systems.

Providing them with exclusive rights over conditioning, cleaning, treating, and storing of all seeds.

The farmers in the orchard or row crop business for example, who use these plants and seeds, will be required to pay a royalty for their use.

Should the crop be hailed out, the farmers may be required to still pay a royalty on crop insurance received.

This part is not clear in the act.

How do you farmers in the Okanagan feel about this? What would this do to their commercial and organic markets? What will this cost you?

These are all serious questions that need to be answered before this proposed legislation becomes reality.

For those who own farm nurseries, you are going to have to pay as well.

The royalty is being charged because of the fact that these multinationals have patents on plants and seeds.

The cost in royalties is going to be huge.

How much more money in costs can the farmer afford?

The bottom line is thin enough already.

For further information on the act, visit www.parl.gc.ca/House publications or www.nfu.ca

If Gerry Ritz, the federal Minister of Agriculture, gets Bill C-18 passed, it will put food producers in this country under terrible strain.

Bill C-18 has to be stopped.

James Haynes

Haynes Ranch

Rock Creek, B.C.

 

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